The Student (El Estudiante)

Taking a break from lists, I want to do a review of a movie I saw last night. It is an independent film that was a feature in this year's Chicago Latino film festival called El Estudiante (or, for those of us who don't speak Spanish, The Student). Although a bit overdone and "cheesy" at times, I found this to be a very moving and touching film about finding joy later in life. In the movie, Chano, a retired 70-year-old (I somehow missed what his occupation had previously been, although it was not important to understanding the message of the film), decides to enroll in the University of Guanajuanto, where he meets a new crop of students and inspires them to live life to the fullest.

This is one of those films where you don't notice what time it is until you watch the credits start to roll. The plot is riveting, the characters endearing, and the setting beautiful, and although it is two hours and fifteen minutes, I applaud the director at finding just the perfect moment to end the film. Had it been longer, I would have found myself glancing at my watch (we all know that there are movies where this happens after the first hour), but had it been shorter, it would have left me wanting more.

The idea of the film was to promote living life with passion, and the characters in the film certainly do so. One of my favorite scenes was one in which one of the students dresses as a mime to surprise his girlfriend with a romantic dinner (she had said that she liked mimes because they were "living art"). Although I had to remind myself that this was a movie and movies aren't always realistic (how could a college student afford to set that up?), it supported the idea shown throughout the film that even though we live in a modern world, some things, such as love, are shown better with a classic touch. I laughed when this same student texted this girl a quote from Don Quixote and shouted, "I'm updating Don Quixote!"

If you get a chance to see this movie, go. It's funny, sad, and heartwarming all at once, and reminds us all that sometimes we have to take a step back and slow things down in order to really enjoy ourselves.


The Movie Mistress

For more info, go to the IMDB page for The Student, or The Student webpage (although it's in Spanish, so if, like me, you don't speak the language, you may have to type into Google first and translate).


  1. I saw this film at the San Diego Latino Film Festival. It was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time, especially from Mexico. I loved it enough that I had to take my parents to go watch it too. They loved it. Too bad it hasn't been picked up to be shown nation wide (here in the USA).